Logger trades Transtar for Eagle

By: Tamara Whitsed, Photography by: Tamara Whitsed

Keith Herron’s newly-bought 2006 International Eagle means his prototype 1990 TranStar 4700 is now on the market


"The Otway Ranges is the hardest place I’ve ever logged in," says Keith Herron of Birregurra, Victoria. "The hills are short and they’re steep. If you go up anywhere else, the hills are steep but they’re long. In the Otways you’re loading in a gully. You’re not loading on top of a hill. It’s hard all the way."

Herron carts export pine logs from the Otway Ranges to Melbourne. His 1990 International TranStar was always up to the task, but he recently upgraded to a 2006 International Eagle 9200 to gain an extra tonne payload.

The Eagle went on the road early this year. "It’s magnificent in every way," Herron says. "It’s a beautiful truck to drive and I think it’s probably one of the under-rated trucks around. Very comfortable."

He added 20,000km to the Eagle’s odometer before blowing a steer tyre on a mountain ridge in the Otways earlier this month, instantly turning his pride and joy into a "panel beater’s dream". Herron expects the Eagle to be off the road for two weeks while the bonnet, bull-bar and fuel tank are repaired.

Meanwhile his trusty TranStar is on the market. Herron says his TranStar was the prototype for International’s 4700. "It was a 3670 and they changed the bonnet. It had the motor changed. It had the front end changed. It had just about everything changed."

In 2010 he replaced the TranStar’s Detroit engine with a 525hp Cummins N14 Celect which has now clocked up over 400,000km.

Herron says the TranStar has worked hard but it has aged well because he is fastidious about maintenance and repairs. "I’ve spent a fortune on it. We never cut corners. If it’s got something wrong with it, it gets fixed properly. We don’t patch anything up. It’s got to be done right."

Read our full interview with Herron in the March issue of Owner//Driver.

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